Jaguar XE 2.0d

Portfolio

Jaguar XE, nose, action
Jaguar XE, front, action
Jaguar XE 2.0D Portfolio, front, static
Jaguar XE 2.0D Portfolio, side
Jaguar XE 2.0D Portfolio, interior
Jaguar XE, interior

WHILE my neighbours were busy scraping ice off their car windows on one of the coldest mornings of the year I must have looked a little smug as I got behind the wheel of my ice-free Jaguar.

Like other cars in my street it had been parked there all night, but not only was there no sign of ice on any of the glass the car was also warm and cosy to get into - a fact I thought it best not to mention to those busy with their de-frosting.

And the secret of the warm car? Jaguar's Timed Climate Control, a superb system which allows you to programme the car to switch on an auxiliary heater for whatever time you want.

The heater will stay on for 30 minutes, so if you leave for work at 8.30am you can programme it to switch on every weekday day at 8am - and drive in your shirt sleeves if you want.

In addition there's a key fob - similar to the one used for locking and unlocking the car - which allows you to switch on the interior heating instantly from up to 100 metres away if the temperature suddenly drops and you are heading out.

And while you could argue it‘s a luxury too far it‘s also a very sensible safety feature allowing you clear vision on the coldest of days. In the summer you can use the Timed Climate Control to cool down a hot car well before you get into it.

It‘s the first time I have come across such a system, which is powered by fuel drawn from the car's tank, and which comes as standard on the diesel Portfolio XE model I was testing.

The Portfolio version is certainly a car which spoils you when the temperature hovers around zero, coming as it also does with heated seats in both the front and back, not to mention a heated steering wheel.

The XE is Jaguar's smallest model although it's hardly a small car and space for front seat passengers is generous, although in the rear leg room is a little restricted in compared to the larger Jaguar XF.

Visually it's a stunning piece of automotive design with beautiful flowing lines that identify it with Jaguars of the past while at the same time taking the brand boldly into the future.

The interior too is a real class act, with a nice mix of top quality leather upholstery and a modern aluminium finish to the wraparound dashboard.

A centrally mounted touch screen allows you to operate most of the car's controls as well as giving you access to 360 degree vision for easy parking thanks to an optional surround camera pack at £1,540.

Other extras on the Portfolio model included a head-up display, a full width glass sunroof, a powered boot lid, automatic main beam/dipped beam lighting and a colour reversing camera with the rear view overlaid with a moveable gate or frame to show you just where you are heading.

On the road this 2.0-litre diesel model nips rapidly through the seamless eight-speed automatic gearbox so you are quickly in the higher gears to save fuel. Hence the car's average of more than 60mpg.

At the same time firm pressure with your right foot gives you an instant response as the box drops quickly down the gears to give you a good surge if power.

Turn the circular gear shift to Sport and the response is even quicker.

The interior of the XE is impressively quiet, although under hard acceleration the 180bhp diesel does tend to whirr a little excessively.

The steering is pin sharp and the handling crisp through tight bends and corners, particularly if you switch to the car's Dynamic mode.

The XE was developed to compete with cars like BMW's 3-Series and Audi ‘s A4 and with so much to offer it's certainly a worthy rival.

FAST FACTS

Jaguar XE 2.0d Portfolio

Price: £35,425

Mechanical: 180bhp,1,999cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 140mph

0-62mph: 7.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 67.3

Insurance Group: 27

C02 emissions: 111g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 100,000 miles

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